NATION

Missing Talei: Man Says Group Heard A Child Crying

As the search continues for the missing three-year-old girl from Kalekana, one man has said that a child was heard crying as he and three others were sitting at a kava bar in Kalekana last Saturday morning.
07 Dec 2019 11:52
Missing Talei: Man Says Group Heard A Child Crying
Joji Poia. Inset: Missing Talei Raikadroka.

As the search continues for the missing three-year-old girl from Kalekana, one man has said that a child was heard crying as he and three others were sitting at a kava bar in Kalekana last Saturday morning.

Talei remains missing as the search for her enters the seventh day today.

Joji Poia was drinking kava with three other men on Friday evening and into Saturday morning. This was the morning when Talei was alleged to have disappeared from her grandfather’s place.

The kava bar is located across the road from grandpa Devekuta Raikadroka’s house.

“We all heard a child crying. It was after 2am. My friend Jone heard someone say to the child not to cry,” Mr Poia said.

“We heard a child cry, but we didn’t know whose child it was. As for the missing child, it is quite strange. Kalekana never sleeps. People are awake and always moving around. If that child came on the road someone would have seen her.”

Kalekana resident and security officer at the Kalekana Reservoir, Simione Tabu, said it would have been hard for a child that young to walk up to the reservoir.

“I was born in Kalekana. Nothing like this has ever happened. Police have come and searched around here, but I don’t think a little girl could have walked more than a kilometre up hill,” he said.

“Kalekana is very busy. Someone must have seen something.”

Meanwhile, the missing child and trauma surrounding it have started affecting the families involved.

Talei’s maternal grandmother, Arieta Ronaiqato, said things were a bit tense among family members.

“There is some finger pointing and people are not speaking. Tension has developed between my daughter (Losalini Lalaia) and I as well,” she said.

Missing Talei.

Missing Talei.

“This is the dress she was wearing on Friday night when she went to her grandfather’s place. She changed into something else but this was missing as well, only to be found on Wednesday.”

The president of the Methodist Women’s Ministry, Maraia Seniveva, said they had rallied their support for the women involved in the saga.

“Both Arieta and Losalini need our help. A little spirituality will help them and we are hoping to provide that,” she said.

A prayer vigil is being organised for the missing child.

Police investigations continue as they interview more people who may have come in contact with the child.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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